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NT1A or NT2A for Indian Music

Discussion in 'Recording' started by samcharles, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. samcharles

    samcharles Active Member

    I am an entry level into recording. And i would like to buy NT2-A or NT1-A. I am bascially do Indian Classical Recording.
    I want to use the mic for Male/Female Vocal and Choir. And the instruments is Tabla, flute, sitar, violin etc which anyone does in a typical recording. I have seen reviews on the NT2-A and everyone claims that its useful for variety applications(versatile). Since you are from the Indian Classical background, can you give me some suggestions. Also, i have a question- some ppl says while recording any stringed instruments(ac. guitar or violin) place the cardioid mic infornt and to get a crisp sound place a small diapharagm mic above the shoulder of the person who is plaing the instrument. If that is the case what small diaphragm mic i need to consider, will AT 2021 will be good or your suggestions. Also, NT1-A claims as the quitest mic ever, what about NT2-A is that not quiet and hold good for home based studio application?
    please give me candid inputs.

    Thanks
     
  2. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Probably work with any type of music!
     
  3. samcharles

    samcharles Active Member

    Okay, Thanks. Which mic will be better option I can go upto 400$. I will be great to you if you could answer the other two questions.

    1. some ppl says while recording any stringed instruments(ac. guitar or violin) place the cardioid mic infornt and to get a crisp sound place a small diapharagm mic above the shoulder of the person who is plaing the instrument. If that is the case what small diaphragm mic i need to consider, will AT 2021 will be good or your suggestions.

    2. Also, NT1-A claims as the quitest mic ever, what about NT2-A is that not quiet and hold good for home based studio application?
     
  4. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    I've never used either of them, but I would probably choose the NT2A to get the choice of polar patterns.

    That technique might sometimes work instead of the mic in front of the intsrument. Blending multiple mics together can have unexpected consequences, so I suggest you use one mic at a time to begin with, and only add a second when you are ready to tackle the concept of phase alignment of two different microphones.

    The budget SDC I have been most impressed by recently was the SE Electronics SE4. But my Rode NT5s are also very useful.

    This will only be relevant when plugged into a very high quality super-quiet preamp... what preamps are you planning to use? Anyway, don't worry about the noise difference: both mics are perfectly quiet enough.
     
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    The benefits/crappy things of polar patterns gets iffy pretty quickly. Unless i'm wrong these mics usually employ dual diaphrams. Which means in this range, there will be a much bigger difference between the two capsules' response. This can be great creatively if you enjoy a figure 8 pattern that has a bright side/dark side, or annoying if accuracy is what the recording needs. Also omni, and figure 8, introduce the 'room sound'. So if the room is fantastic, awsome! But if it isn't, will you really want something other than an cardioid-type pattern, where the mic will reject the (out of phase) sounds bouncing off the walls and back into the mic?
    I really really liked what the nt5's did to a taylor acoustic recently, (in conjunction w/ a 414, and DI feed), but regardless, they had a really nice shimmery sound on this already bright guitar. Didn't like them as much room mics, tho, a bit thin, and not smooth. Want a really nice well rounded small diaphragm? pick up a used sm 81 for around $180. Won't be 'great' on everything, but won't be bad on anything either. that still leaves $200 for an nt1a, if u want it. Get stuff that will stick w/ you. If you decide to you really like recording, you'll be able to build on your collection. If you don't, well at least you'll get a reasonable amount back when you sell. I've read some very favorable reviews for the SE electronics stuff but haven't tried 'em. I've used a KEL audio LDC that sounded pretty cool, if dark. And again, i've had good times w/ my trusty AT 3035, from overheads, to acoustics, to some vocs this mic works well. They don't make them anymore, and you can get them i think for around 100 bucks.
    Phase relationship is a huge thing and it's probably better to get comfortable w/ how moving one mic around sounds first. Then introduce the second, for a reason, other than, using two mics. Use your 'phase flip' on your daw, pre, or console(?) and listen to what sounds deeper and fuller vs. thinner and more distant, as you toggle back and forth. Or get one mic where you like it, and listen for the same things as you move the second mic around.
    I agree very much that self noise shouldn't be much of an issue w/ these kind of mics. From my limited experience, i've found the noise of different pre's to be far more/less noticeable, than the mics themselves. The presonus digimax 8 being one of the noisiest pre's i've ever used.
     
  6. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Again, not used those Rode mics so I'm only speculating, but my pair of NT5s both sound the same to my ears: if they can match those properly surely they could manage to match front and rear capsules for the same mic as well? And anyway, unless its the side mic of an MS pair its probably not going to matter that much.

    Yes omni will pick up more room for the same mic placement. However, you may be able to compensate by moving closer to the source: omni's tend to sound more natural when placed very close, and there's no proximity effect to worry about.

    Regarding figure-8, it depends a bit on the room: if you have hard reflective surfaces to each side the figure-8 pattern might sound drier and tighter than cardioid. And you can also position absorption behind the mic (like a Reflection Filter for example) to soak up some of that rear lobe.

    Most importantly to me, figure 8 patterns are very useful for focusing on specific sources and rejecting others. Classic example is the singer / acoustic guitar player where the side nulls are used to reject the guitar / vocal respectively. While the instruments may be different in a classical Indian context, I imagine the same problems might arise with singing instrumentalists, or with instruments in close proximity to each other.

    So, all other things being equal, I tend to prefer LDCs with a choice of patterns.
     
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    True stuff. I enjoy different patterns as well. i love omni on vocals sometimes, as it's inherit characteristics can lend a slightly more open, yet still intimate sound, if that makes sense. This dude was telling me one time about how he had an external powersupply for his mic that didn't have fixed points on the pickup pattern knob, it functioned more like a common eq,or pan, pot, and the pickup pattern just kinda morphed from one extreme to the other.
     
  8. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I don't have anything to add to the discussion of the two LDCs. But let me throw out something that may be off base (since I don't know anything about the rest of your equipment or the room or the performers). You are "entry level into recording," on a limited budget, recording instruments like violin and flute that can be quite shrill and difficult to record. I'd be close micing as many things as possible with Shure SM57s or SM58s for vocals. If you want to go beyond that, you can try inexpensive ribbon mics for (at least) flute and violin - Cascade (good) and Aventone (better) are two I have used that would be in your price range. Just because expensive condenser mics are used by pro studios, doesn't mean they are the best choice on a budget.
     
  9. samcharles

    samcharles Active Member

    I'm using Digidesign 003 interface. I dont know whether it has the preamp which you are referring to. If that has one, will that be enough or i need to buy a separate preamp device?
    Thanks for your suggestions till now.
     
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    The 003 has four microphone preamps (the XLR inputs). You can buy better preamps and put those into the line inputs, but I wouldn't recommend that until you have at least a little more experience. Unless I'm misreading you, for quite a while your lack of experience will be the primary limiting factor on the quality of your recordings. If you want more comprehensive advice you give us more info on might what you want to record, how you plan to record it, and a better idea of what equipment you had.
     
  11. samcharles

    samcharles Active Member

    I would like to get more comprehensive advice on how to plan to record it and mix.


    I am basically a keyboardist/singer.

    1. First I will list my gears.
    Yamaha Motif XS6 keyboard
    Mac Book Pro 2 GHZ with mac osx 10.6
    Digidesign 003
    Rode NT2A
    Shure SM58, SM57
    Yamaha MG 82CX Mixer
    Pro Tools LE 8
    External Hard Drive - Seagate desktop 3TB
    Studio Monitor - Yet to buy, Looking for Basic Genelec 6010A. I dont know whether it will be a good one. Help on this also required.

    I would connect the mac book pro to an 23" LCD monitor for better display.

    Basically i will score my music track using the keyboard and then i will record the bass, lead guitars and Violin, flute, sax if needed.

    After a complete music track is available, i will record the vocals using NT 2A. It will be good if you provide me the exact microphone every instrument suits based on my gears available.

    Mostly 90% I will record indian music and also fusion of Indian western classical.

    I dont have any idea on the pre amps. Will premaps also affect the sound/quality of the recording?
    I would like to get the most superb quality audio/sound from the gears i have. At any cost i cannot compromise on the poor quality or my recording.

    Way of connection of the gears:

    I am planning to connect the vocal mic/keyboard/Bass Guitar to the mixer and then into the Digi 003 and then into mac book pro. Or am i going somewhere wrong?

    Please help me on the process.
     
  12. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    There is no definitive answer, the room you record in is the biggest factor.

    Everything else is personal preference, you will have to experiment with mikes and mike placement.
    Most of all it takes time and experience to become proficient.

    Read this Tweak's Guide to the Home and Project Studio
     
  13. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Sorry to take so long to reply. Been under the weather. You have a lot of equipment to work and experiment with. To start where I probably should end: with the mics. It's really not possible to give simple answers like, "use a 57 on the violin 18" from the bridge." Some factors involved are the room, the instruments, and the performer. With the NT2A you have one mic that will be very sensitive and detailed and reproduce a lot of high end. With the 57/58 you have mics that will roll off the high end, emphasize the frequencies that are most pleasing to the ear, and give clarity in the range of the human voice. The NT2A will sound better somewhat farther from the sound source than the 57/58. The 58 is essentially the 57 with a pop filter, so it is better for vocals. You have many hours of work in from of you. You are going to have to try both types of mic in multiple positions on all of your sources. You are going to have to try to listen to these tracks both soloed and in the mix.

    Other topics: What are you using the mixer for? I don't think its preamps are substantially better than those in the 003. The 003 has instrument inputs for direct recording for the bass, guitar, and keyboard. Maybe the direct input on the mixer is better? A good direct box like the Countryman or JD Radial would definitely be better. Are you recording a whole band together or doing this one track at a time?

    Monitors are a different thread - read some of the threads in the archives. Acoustic treatment of your tracking and mixing spaces are also important.
     
  14. samcharles

    samcharles Active Member

    "With the NT2A you have one mic that will be very sensitive and detailed and reproduce a lot of high end."
    - Do you mean NT2A will not be good mic for a person with bassy voice or will it not support the low's/mid's? If its not RODE NT1A will be good for low's mid's and high's? Or else your thoughts? I just bought NT2A, if that is not good for me, i have an option to return.

    "What are you using the mixer for? I don't think its preamps are substantially better than those in the 003. "
    - So I understand the mixer is of no use when i have the 003. Right?

    "The 003 has instrument inputs for direct recording for the bass, guitar, and keyboard."
    - I cannot compromise with the sound quality. If I use direct inputs as said above. Will I get superb quality Sound? or Do i need to get a seperate preamp with a very good quality?

    "Are you recording a whole band together or doing this one track at a time?"
    - I am doing one track at a time NOT with a full band.
     
  15. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    There is no way for us to know or even guess this. YOU should be telling US. You have the mics, the room, the voice. Test them. Try the NT2A and the SM58 at 6", 12", 24" from your mouth.

    I don't see any use if you are recording one track at a time.

    If you are spending less than $100,000 and doing this with no experience you are already making huge compromises in sound quality. If you had the best equipment in the world it would still be months or (more probably) years before you got "superb quality Sound." There are lots of options for direct recording. The choice between them is a matter of taste. The direct boxes I recommended above are not terribly expensive and to my ears sound better than just plugging into the digi. But it's really not necessary at this point. You need to get busy. Record some material. Make some mistakes. LISTEN.
     

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